September 7, 2017 / 1:14 PM / 16 days ago

Afreximbank offers $300 million to private investors in equity

NAIROBI, Sept 7 (Reuters) - The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is offering up to $300 million in depositary receipts to private investors to boost capital for lending to industries on the continent, a top executive of the bank said on Thursday.

The depositary receipts offer investors the same rights as normal shareholders, but issuing them does not come with the same regulatory requirements as issuance of normal shares.

George Elombi, the bank’s executive VP for governance and legal, said the fresh capital will help Afreximbank to secure further funds through borrowing, to lend to investors who wish to process African commodities like cocoa growers in Ivory Coast.

“There is a need to do something about the industrial base in the continent. Otherwise we will continue to be exposed to periodic market shocks in export commodities,” Elombi told a news conference in the Kenyan capital.

“The money we are trying to raise is intended to address that particular concern.”

The continent exports most of its commodities in raw form to be processed abroad, curbing its earnings and reducing job-creation opportunities through new factories.

The Cairo-based Afreximbank, which focuses on boosting trade in and with Africa through financing, has assets of $12.46 billion, with $10.84 billion of that being loans.

It is owned by a range of shareholders including African governments and central banks.

The depositary receipts by Afreximbank, which are priced at $4.30 per unit with a minimum investment size of $30,000, are aimed at the sophisticated investor like pension funds.

The offer is open until Sept. 22 and they will be listed on stock exchange of Mauritius on Oct. 4, allowing secondary trading in the depositary receipts to commence. (Reporting by Duncan Miriri, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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